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  CSPAN    U.S. Senate    News/Business.  

    January 25, 2013
    9:00 - 12:00pm EST  

pretty. as we approach the discussion which protect society is imperative we recognize there are multitude of problems i think will require a multitude of solutions and efforts. we must make a concerted effort to address each appropriate our social policy solutions. keeping firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals has always been the law. forcing those law more effectively must become a national priority and we must also consider additional qualities -- policies. so we should start by making sure that all records of dangerous individual are headed into the national criminal background check system including mental health records, restraining orders, and other prohibiting records. it also seems to make good sense to close the gun show loophole and extend the background requirements to individual transfer of firearms with reasonable common sense but such a program must be offered for easy online application process and can be used as a foundation for gun registration program of
any type. it should simply incorporate additional firearm sales into the same background check program that exist for sales from commercial dealers. exemption should be offered for family to family transaction, any instance my father had begun to me for inheritance, as was for temporary support for self-defense purposes but individuals who reside in rural areas that make the check in practical an individual build special firearm licenses already come should also be exempt from this program. fixing and strengthening it must be among the highest priority in order to help other prevent illegal sale of firearms as was the ability of criminals in the severely mentally ill to obtain them in the first place. we must export educational programs that promote responsible gun ownership while addressing ways to go to court by gun violence culture in our country. we incorporate mental health records, we must also make sure and provides a commitment to
goodness of mental health services to those in need on the front end. i understand there's a population of american citizens who's ever experienced with a gun has been able to the our individuals like myself as every expense with the gun has been a positive one. some of our fondest memories are spent with family and friends. i hope the inclusion of at least one sportsman's perspective in this discussion will provide at least a clear starting point by which we can have an honest discussion about ways to protect our children while also preserving the rights of sportsmen and recreational shooters. i would be first and i don't have all the answers to the complex problems that we we discussing here today, and many and i may not agree with all the policy proposals that will be offered, but i do know that we cannot be afraid to have a discussion. it is a conversation long overdue but i think all of us are here in good faith. i'd like to be part of the solution and finding ways to ensure that our children enjoyed
a safer society. i think sportsmen must help lead our nation forward on a safer path while continuing to uphold the hunting values and traditions we learned from our parents and grandparents. thank you spent thank you very much. mr. cummings. >> i think that was an excellent presentation but i'm glad to see somebody on this committee agrees very much with me. having said that, i'm here as a sportsman, hunter and collector of guns but i've hunted all over the world all my life. i have enjoyed the benefits have been afforded me by the second amendment or constitution. and i hope that as the pen delivered still be able to differentiate between a hundred to use the traditional firearm, to those views us all five weapons to commit violent crime. it would be unfortunate if hunters and sportsmen were painted with the same brush as those who would do harm utilizing a so called assault weapon. i'm here and attempt to bring reasons to discussion that is both polarizing and emotional.
seems to me that some organizations political bodies may be using the second amendment to further their own agendas which i did not seem to be in support of the hunter and sportsmen. i believe intelligent people well versed and the facts which there are many divergent facts, of any issue should be able to have a reasonable dialogue in order to find common ground necessary to resolve problems. some of the problem that stand out are the universal background checks, high-capacity magazines, armor piercing bullets, mental health funding, mental health reporting, media impact, the assault rifles, the fact that there are various facts out there. and i hope as we go through this i will be able to expand on these issues. gun violence demands we look at all aspects of the problem, not just guns. i look forward to giving my opinion as will sing the opinion of others on this panel and the members of this task force. my hope is that at the end of this process is task force will
make recommendations that are not only practical and enforceable, but also robert we funded. thank you for the opportunity to be here. >> the position paper that is in my folder that was submitted by you, -- >> possibly. [laughter] >> i know what is in my folder. >> thank you. dr. ross. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and members of the task force, thank you so much for inviting us to be here to be part of this national discourse and conversation and also that you, for the very kind introduction. i would like a copy of that tape to send to my mother last night for viewing. this unspeakable tragedy that compels us to be here today, i'm really quite pleased, mr. chairman, that i'm hearing
proponents of and defenders of the second amendment talk about the importance of mental health services and mental health programs warned my heart as a pediatrician and a public health official. but this tragedy is clearly preventable. i'd like to spend my few minutes talking about a prevention strategy and a prevention approach to what would underline that prevention strategy. but before it began by testimony formally, i would like to turn to the video. we have a video clip of, we have 33 young people across the state of california who we support in our building healthy committees initiative across the state from committees like south central los angeles and richmond in east oakland, and they wanted an opportunity to have their voices heard as school students who are in the crosshairs of this debate and conversation about school safety to add at least like an
opportunity to share this short video clip so you can hear their voices. if you could queue up that video that would be great. >> trust me, i've heard the gunfire. >> my brothers and sisters are frugally outside. spent demand the plan spend no more violence. not in my classroom. not on my street corner. >> not on my playground. spent every day 14 kids are murdered. spent 14. >> not one, ma 14. >> fourteen every day. >> that's insane. >> demand a plan. spent health care. >> give me support. don't just kick me out of school. >> don't lock down our schools. >> more guns are not the answer. >> demand a plan, a real plan is that it's time for our leaders to take action. >> enough. >> enough.
>> enough. >> thank you. that video can be found on youtube. it's now at about 1.4 million views, and so i just wanted to make sure the voice of these young people were represented in this hearing today. and the message i want to underscore is pretty much at doing the sentiments. we want to bring sensible gun policies and better security on campuses and those are critical pieces of the puzzle but alone they are not enough to keep our schools and our communities sa safe. we have talked with more than 20,000 telephones about what it takes to make a community healthy. the first step that they mentioned is violence. must have violence free communities, places where families can walk to a school, grocery store, a park or a place of worship without fear. it's prevention that's the key. i served as a practicing pediatrician any formal life but you don't have to be a doctor to know that it has a prevention is worth a pound of cure.
it's cheaper and more effective to stop the violence before it begins and take sole. the key to preventing violence is understanding who is attached to the fingers that pull the triggers in the senseless tragedies. we have a national crisis of disengage, disconnected, disempowered young people. many of whom are mentally ill. when it comes to the students, schools are the first place where mental health issues our first spotted. in seemingly communities like columbine, aurora and newtown, this crisis shows up as a senseless, senseless massive shooting. but in neighborhoods in compton, richmond, chicago, detroit, north philadelphia, this crisis reveals itself as schools dropout, substance abuse, gang involvemeinvolveme nt and drive-by shootings. either way the problem is disconnected and troubled young people will show up, revealed itself and continued to haunt our civic life. i might want to mention by the
way that in richmond, california, which is a significant homicide involvement problem in that community, representative george miller certainly would be proud. we talked about it earlier today that richmond is nearly to its homicide rate in half of focusing on this committee these approaches and partnerships between public safety and community and grassroots leaders. so that's what every school should offer comprehensive health services or access to comprehensive health services were nurses, ma counselors and others can diagnose problems, whether mental or physical and get it gets it can help they need whether it's a school-based health center or in another setting every student should get a behavior health checkup just like to get a physical checkup before starting the school year. school counselors have to be a part of a solution. in my state of california we have about one counselor for 1000 students which is among the worst ratios in the nation and it's about one-fourth of the recommended standard of one counselor for 250 states. mr. chairman, the best counselor
in the world can't keep tabs in 1000 students in their school. we can't expect them to. a recent report from united states department of justice have a majority of our kids come nearly 60%, personal experience or witness crime or abuse or violence in any given year. school counselors and medical professionals can understand how these traumatic experiences affect the development of young minds and offer to keep students on the right path. unfortunately over the past three years california like many other states has sharply reduced mental health services as a result of the recession and economic downturn. according to the state, to the national alliance of mental health directors, $4.3 billion in local mental health service cuts and commended his programs have occurred since the recession between 2009-2012. so more people need help but it's less available, and that's a recipe for disaster and hopefully we can address that urgently. i'm encouraged that this task force is thinking broadly about
school safety. public safety officials, criminologists, public health experts, the public all agree that prevention must be part of the equation. we must figure out ways to stop these attacks before the government shows up in the parking lot. that can't be our only goal. and in closing, train to i ask that you continue to work towards a complete and comprehensive approach to the prom. i appreciate your peace in "the wall street journal" yesterday, highlighting mental-health services in addition to gun control policies. and i will conclude by reminding us three core elements must be part of the solution. expansion of mental health and prevention services, secondly, strengthening and expanding school counseling services and school resource officers, and thirdly, promoting and supporting, engaging in nurturing school climate, not one that is punitive and pushing kids out of school. we must stop suspending kids out of school. when all of us were in school, we rarely saw did kids get
suspended. we almost never saw anyone get expelled and now it's a very common phenomenon. we've got to keep our arms around his kids and embrace them so they are engaged and connected to our society. thank you for your invitation to testify, and i may have to leave our late to catch a flight back to california, but thanks for having me here today. >> ms. campbell. >> good afternoon and thank you for inviting me to speak today. i am proud to work with the national council for community behavioral health and national mentorship organization representing more than 2000 organizations that provide mental health and addiction treatment in almost every community in this country. our members by the sentimental health and addiction driven services to more than 8 million children, adults and families across this country. i really want to cover three points. first come enforcement of existing federal reporting law. second, the ongoing need for improved treatment for mental health disorders among veterans, effort, the need for better public education about the nature of mental illness and
addiction. a member organizations and the board of directors come from every corner of the country and have diverse opinions regarding firearms and the topic of gun control. we urge all states to comply with this requirement and to provide required information to national registry. however, as the president the right has pointed out, persons living with mental illness are much more likely to be victims and perpetrators. of violence. he also called attention to the need for increased access to appropriate mental health services across this country. according to data from the substance abuse in the health service administration, one in five americans will experience a mental health condition during any given year. one in five to get as a society we largely remain ignorant about the signs and symptoms of mental
illness. we ignore our role of responsible community members to help people expensing this illness to a particular concern to me as a veteran of some who served 22 years in the navy, obligation our nation owes our veterans deserve the mental-health services they need to support their incredible resilient and move towards recovery. nearly 30% of our returning veterans will have a mental health condition requiring treatment. studies have shown more than 80% of veterans have posted that stress disorder, major depression or both. the challenging legacy of service given by these men and women present in virtually every community across the country. the numbers are much greater than we originally thought in 2003, and will reverberate throughout the military and civilian military how this system for years to come. finally, i would like to tell the committee about a program that counselors brought to this country of mental health. we believe it's an exciting new public health approach to educating communities about mental illness. you may know the mental
disorders began manifesting themselves by early as 14 years of age. according to the american psychiatric association, a diagnostic manual, obvious symptoms of serious mental illness occur between the ages of 18-24. but on average it takes eight very long years to get mental health treatment for these americans. that's why the council is excited about the mental-health first day. it is implement broadly enough to prevent providers to help millions of our fellow citizens and psychiatric distress. in sum, visiting some of some of the first aid classes at the local chuck of the red cross but as i indicated at the onset, ma diverse array of training audiences is key to the programs public health approach. for example, medco health first a detainee has been offered to police officers and other first responders from rhode island to
denver and colleges across this country and by local ymcas. in the aftermath of the enormous tragedy of sandy hook elementary school there's been an outpouring of bipartisan support for including the mental-health care system in this nation. in fact, the task force explicitly endorse mental-health first eight. is a common policy thread running through all these proposals in some sort of fashion they all endorse early detection of mental illness. you see mental-health first aid as part of the solution to the problems facing our country today. from a prevention standpoint. exactly what the program does. it permits us to intervene early, to help allies and say these individuals who are in desperate need and attentive basement of health services. last week representative ron barber introduced the mental-health first eight act of 2013, h.r. 274. and a reseller to vice president like, congressman barber wrote the holiday i urge you to endorse commonsense bipartisan proposals like the mental-health
first eight act. we have failed to give the mental-health needs. we have paid too high a price for this neglect. everyday we see the affect of our decades long neglect. i urge you to take the advantage of this opportunity to make a long overdue investment in mental-health of all americans live longer, more fulfilling life. thank you for this opportunity to speak today. >> mr. chipman spent part of the thomson, thank you for inviting me today, and thank you for the introduction. in may of last year i retired from atf as a special agent following 25 years of public service. as a federal agent, as you can imagine, i have been called many things. recently, "time" magazine called people like me those concerned about violence, gun fighters. although i carry a firearm every single day for 25 years, i never once considered myself a gunfighter. i was a crimefighter. hollywood has glamorized
gunfighters that i was not an actor. i was just a cop. at atf i served many roles. however, my mission is clear. it was my job to prevent violent crime. when i arrested criminals i knew i was preventing future crimes and making a difference. when i was responsible for solving crimes that had already occurred, i felt like a failure. i'd like to acknowledge the first responders who did what they could at sandy hook elementary. i know how you feel. i was called respond to the bomb at the murrah federal building in oklahoma city. i spent a month investigating that senseless attack and hoping recover the bodies of 100 cc at americans, and 19 children under the age of six. i was never the same. it is likely the first responders from newtown will never be the same. as we support the families who lost their loved ones in connecticut, don't forget the first responders. they need your help. today we have a choice but we
can either maintain the status quo by placing our faith in gunfighters, a good guy with a gun who we hope will prevail over at that guy with the gun, or we can remove the obstacles that challenge our crimefighters for preventing the bad guys from ever getting a gun in the first place. people who sell guns to encourage you to place your faith in the gunfighters. this is not surprising because when you're selling solutions and value make is a hammer, you need to make every problem looks like a nail. as a crimefighter you decide to risk his life enforcing the laws on the books, i can tell you we can do better. we know how to make it more difficult for criminals and other prohibited persons to get guns. this afternoon i want to share with you the obstacles that are preventing law enforcement from performing this critical missi mission. first we need to require criminal background checks prior to any consent and america. the fact that you can purchase a firearm without passing a criminal background check is a flaw so large that it made many
gun laws meaningless and distorts the fundamental effectiveness of atf, and every police department in the nation. as a crimefighter who wants to prevent the bad guys are getting the gun in the first place, there was no greater frustration than this glaring gap in reasonable firearms regulation. second, we need to repeal the tee harbour restrictions that impede atf from preventing gun violence and firearms trafficking. doing so would once again allow law enforcement and research partners to collaborate without restriction on strategies to prevent gun crime. records of background check approvals and the capability to conduct instant gun traces is necessary intelligence if our goal is crime prevention rather than crime suppression. third, congress should take actions in other ways to require gun dealers to perform their duties with increased professionalism. firearms dealers should be required to perform standard business practice such as
conducting inventory. doing so will allow police to organize feeds and deter employ that the reporting of false sale of all firearms and the particular multiple sets of assault rifles is a minor administrative inconvenience that can prevent a massacre. fourth, congress should consider new legislation that defines firearms trafficking and punishes straw purchases through armed criminals and gun trafficking kingpins as seriously as those distributed illegal drugs. these changes would encourage federal agents and prosecutors to aggressively enforce federal gun laws. this, congress should regulate assault weapons in the identical fashion as firearms already regulate by the national firearms act. and weapons like assault weapons present a similar -- firearms such as semi-automatic short-barreled rifles, sawed off shotguns, and even came guns are
strictly considered gangster weapons. all are currently registered with atf under the national arms fire act and rarely if ever used in crimes. hasn't atf special agent, a firearm i carried has a magazine that held 15 rounds big it is inconceivable to me that any american would require more around than a special agent with atf. to adequately provide for the personal self-defense. the obstacles i've outlined are far from insurmountable. however, it will take leadership, commitment and resources to respond to the national epidemic of gun violence. all the more money and more people rarely solve problems alone, it is important to note the size of the atf relative to the mission it is expected to perform. atf is a federal agency comprised of fewer than 4800 employees. that's 4800 employees.
far smaller than the florida's broward county sheriff's department. of this total, fewer than 2500 employees our special agents, and only 800 our inspectors. at the same time the gun industry is growing. with nearly 12 million gun sales in the united states last year, the number of gun sales per atf investigators, which is over 14,000, has nearly doubled since 2003. but adding man power to atf isn't enough to the agency needs leadership. since august 4, 2006, the agency was charged with preventing gun violence in america has been without a confirmed leader. a lot has changed since 2006. atf needs to change. a primary of destruction industry change at atf is that going to nominate and confirm a permanent director. persistence to change is common. during my final months of atf i witnessed the leadership
qualities of b. todd jones, and those resisting necessary chan change. he displayed a passion for atf mission and a determination to overcome obstacle. most importantly, as a former marine, he inspired followersh followership. in closing i want to say that even after 25 years on the street, i find it shocking that 33 americans are killed every day with a gun. and already over 1000 gun murders have been committed since newtown last month. my kids deserve better than th this. all of our kids deserve better than this. thank you. >> thank you. mr. deputy attorney general. >> good afternoon, chairman thompson, and members of the task force. thank you for your work on this important issue and the opportunity to appear before you today. i would like to focus my testimony on unique program that exist within the department of justice in california which is
the agency responsible for regulating firearms within the state. it's called the armed prohibited persons program and it is intended to describe people who are prohibitive from owning or possessing firearms under both federal and à la formula. it is with a preventative law enforcement program who space is critical to enhance and move forward and should be a model nationally. under california and federal law, you've heard some allusions to this. there's some number of prohibitions to cut osha. typically engender those are categories, include felons, violent misdemeanors, people with domestic violence restraining orders and people with serious mental health issues to the point where there are a threat to themselves or others. since 1993 under federal law, all gun purchases through padilla are required to have a criminal background check. and the purpose of that is to identify a purchaser who is
prohibited and prevent the sales. that is good as far as it goes. but in california we have taken things a few steps further. first, all private party transactions in california must go through a licensed firearms dealer and subject to purchaser to the criminal background history check that would identify the purchaser. in addition unlike most states in the federal government, california retains the records relating to the purchases of handguns, and that provides us with the data to create a firearms registry to understand which is very controversial in some quarters but it essential to our efforts to disarm prohibitive the persons. and that is also something that prevents or is, referred to as the gun show exemption. so all private party transactions and original gun sales are submitted to a
background check spent could you get a little closer to the microphone? >> certainly. coming online next year in january of 2014 will be sales of long guns. will be retained those records as well. now, the program was developed in response to legislation in 2001 that was sponsored by the attorney general and carried by a republican senator and someone who is in line out to be chairman of the california republican party. the legislation passed unanimously through both houses of the state legislature and was expressly supported by the nra and the california sportsman's association, and others. what the program does is allow the department of justice to establish an electronic database, that cross-references the firearms registry that i mentioned earlier with databases of our criminal history records, the domestic violence databases
as well as the mental health records. and that allows us to create a list of people who are both armed and prohibitive. which is unique in the nation. there is no other state in the nation who is doing this. and so it allows us to capture people who have purchased weapons and then subsequently become prohibitive as a result of a felony arrest or a mental health issue. in 2005, that program went on line and would begin distributing this data to local law enforcement agencies with the hope that it would be enforcement of the apps program. it turned out that because of all of the fairest law-enforcement priority that local agencies have it was not greeted with and so we decide within the department of justice to create our own enforcement program which started in 2007. by 2010 we had 18 agents devoted to enforcing the apps program
which that conducting investigations and going out to prohibitive the persons homes and requesting their firearms. in 2011, this became a major focus of attention for her and she sought to double the number of agents. so today we have 33 agents dedicated to this program. but it is still not enough. we have close to 20,000 people on the apps list. that is a backlog of people who we know to be armed and prohibitive. the through the ages where dedicated to this work, about 2500 cases a year, yet each year with 3000 more cases. so we continue to be swimming upstream and one of the attorney general's most important initiatives this year will be to again double the agents that are dedicate to this enforcement effort and hope that we can clear up that background within every full-time. seven years is what we have in mind. there is some interest in the
relationship between the apps program and the federal next. all of the raw data that we choose to develop our registry, our listing of armed prohibited people is available and is uploaded to the national nics ms in the clash in july mental health records became, went on line and all of that data is uploaded to transfer in real-time and understand it has caused a real uptick in the number of, the amount of information that is provided to nics. there's a couple of lessons we take from the apps program as they can be a model for the nation as we think it should. a registry of some kind for firearms is a sensual. without a registry we don't know where the guns are. and then the other piece that is critical is having and enforcement element and resources dedicated to that because once you have the list,
somebody has to take responsibility for disarming people who are the most dangerous in our society. thank you. >> thank you very much. thank you, all the witnesses, for your excellent testimony. i'm going to begin the questions period, and i'm going to start. i have a couple -- mr. deputy attorney general, it's been said that california has the strictest gun laws in the country, and whenever we talk about gun laws on gun violence prevention, there's always from one corner comes the cry that this is not an effort to stop people from buying guns. is a true that 600,000 legal gun sales took place in california last year of? >> that wouldn't surprise me. that sounds about right.
california's gun laws are not -- >> the strictest laws in the country would have done a lot. >> i don't think we've seen any sign of diminishment in gun sales. >> mr. cummings and gasper, if i could ask you guys. you both admitted you are hundred and i saw in your bio, gasper community picture of, you are with some ducks. how michelle tea put in your gun when you go duckhunting? >> three. unless we are hunting -- in which case it would be 10 speak speak in the microphone please spent sorry. three the federal graduation unless you're hunting during conservation season in which case it would begin. >> so federal law sets a maximum on how many shells you can have in your shotgun for hunting migratory birds. >> correct. >> three shells. mr. cummings community big game hunter ism? >> yes.
>> how michelle tea put in your rifle when you go big game hunting? >> most of my high-powered rifles will not handle over for shells. that's for probably the biggest game possible that we shoot. >> thank you. i'm going to call on the ranking member of the judiciary committee, mr. conyers for questions. >> thank you very much, chairman thompson. this is our second hearing. it's been a good one, and i'm deeply grateful for everybody's comments. now, i've got a number of thin things, maybe we can do them all, maybe we can't. i noticed the president, in his remarks, seems like he's almost given up negotiating saying here's what we're going to do.
and everybody that is with me should get on board. but between these several things, would any of you just volunteer what you think is the most important accomplishments that those of us who have been through these hearings could accomplish in the 113th congress? semi-automatic assault weapons, require background checks for all gun sales, repeal key hard, then high-capacity ammunition magazines, address root causes of violent crime in our communities. address mental health crisis where 25% or more of the
population might come under that category. who could comment about any particular order in this undertaking you'd like to see us start off with? >> any volunteers? >> thank you, representative. when you ask a pediatrician what can come from that list is pretty predictable what's going to come out of this. certainly the root causes of violence, if we could have significant and meaningful success at that level, then we wouldn't need to be in this room today discussing other kinds of strategies. i think that there are a number of outstanding community based
programs that show that prevention works. certainly we seen the success of the harlem children's zone, getting young people who have, growing up in an impoverished, disadvantage and distress committees exposed to violence, undo wealth. father greg boyle, the catholic priest who runs the homeboy industries program in los angeles, has successfully moved young people from a life of games and violence and drugs and drug dealing into the workforce, just by putting his arms around those young people and believing and affirming their ability to his average is nothing stops a bullet like a job. so the importance of jobs at the committee level sorting is to be a part of this conversation as well. and, finally, in boston, and chicago as i mentioned them in richmond, community-based efforts, real partnership
efforts, local police and public safety officials, public safety officials saying we can't arrest our way out of the problem of disconnected and unengaged youth. we need to make sure that we are giving them an opportunity, reform our juvenile justice system in the way the state of missouri has shown great leadership and showing a young people get caught up through a life of violence, in the juvenile justice system have an opportunity get their lives back on track. so this country is demonstrating through public-private partnerships and grassroots leadership a lot of great ways of making things work. i think our problem, representative, is not that there are not answers out there, it's just that women find an answer we just don't have the ability and the will to scale it up to a national solution. i would submit to you that's more of a problem. >> pretty persuasive. >> i think all those issues you mentioned need to be discussed
in detail, and i hope we have the opportunity to do that here today. but one of the things that hasn't been discussed is you make these laws come in 1994 gun law applies only to weapons made after the passage. they were 1.5 million assault rifles, and 24 million high-capacity clips on the market and. now there are three to 4 million assault rifles, and they don't even know how many clips are. there might be 50 million clips. >> or three times that many. >> or three times that many. my point is this. i also said you need to be able to find, implement, you've also got to get it through congress. that to me, how are you going to get something off the market, ma our legislature come off the market when you already have 4 million of them out in the
public? that's a big question. i'm glad you are here to answer that. >> well, i'm glad you're here to press me to get going on this during the 113th congress. thank you, chairman thompson. >> mr. scott. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we are going to do four minutes. that includes the answer. so if you could keep your answers short. >> thank you. dr. ross, you have been working to eliminate the school to prison pipeline, can you discuss some of the initiatives that create that problem? >> yes, sir, very briefly. mr. representative, there are three, we studied at the school, the presence coal, the pipeline that plague so many of our certainly poor rural committees. they seem to be three critical points that serve as on ramps for that incarceration superhighway.
the first is third grade reading scores. young people who are, particularly young men, particularly young black and brown men in urban communities who are not reading at the great proficiency, and the numbers, the percentages are as high as 75-80% of young black and brown boys at third grade are not reading at the grade level proficiency. and once they are behind a just never catch up. so the importance of early childhood and early third grade reading is trickle. the second is the issue of -- is critical. chronic absences in early grades as was repeated school suspensions are a yellow flag is not a red flag for young people saying i'm disconnected, i'm not engaged, i need support, i need help. and survey there's a tremendous amount of predictive data that once kids begin a pattern and a rhythm of missing lots of school, getting suspended from school they never catch up and they drop out.
then florida as a mentioned earlier, then people in the juvenile justice system, we've got to figure we could turn our juvenile justice system. the department of justice has done a good job at making sure these are not thugs in training but in people love gone off the right path, need to get the right kind of services including mental health services to get them back in the right path. 70% of young people in the juvenile justice system have a mental health diagnoses. those are the three key areas of focus on in order to dismantle the incarceration superhighway of violence. >> we talk about prevention programs. some programs work in some programs don't. can we tell the difference? >> it's getting better. i think most community-based leaders who offer these programs knoknow that they need to become that we need the scientific evidence to show that these programs were. we survey don't make grants at our foundation. told programs like the solicitor's evaluation kabul.
the harlem's children so, homeboy industries, many of these other programs. the date is there. it's not a tsunami, overwhelming data case but it's certainly at least promising that these kind of prevention programs not only work with young people but are cost effective in terms of taxpayer dollars. >> when you say cost effective, how do effective prevention programs save money? >> the general rule of thumb on most public health and prevention programs is two to $3 return on every dollar invested. some mental health programs, the rate of return on investment can be as much as six to one. but the evidence is clear that invest in prevention does return a benefit to the taxpayer. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> ms. wasserman schultz. spent thank you, mr. chairman. mr. cummings, as a life member of the nra, can you share your
views on, share with us how your views, particularly following the newtown tragedy, differ from the nra's standard approach? and kenny also talk with us about what are some of the specific things that you think need to be done to address gun violence? and can you comment on the president's proposal? >> that's a long question spent i might only get one bite of the apple here. >> okay. well, how my reaction differs, the nra is that i've watched -- i've spent probably the last four days on the internet and watching videos and getting information on this, and i think the nra's position that is continually the mentally incapacitated that are out there doing this, the weirdos. you heard that 20% of americans have some sort of deficiency mentally, whether it's depression or something else.
only three to 5% of them are prone to violent acts. .. you've got to incapacitate the machine to some degree. it the easiest way to do that if you can't get the ar-15 off the street is to limit the -- team. in the column by shooting -- not
columbine, but the gabby giffords shooting, the woman stepped in -- i heard that it was a woman today -- the guy changing of the clips gave the opportunity to grab the person. so if you can't get rid of the assault weapon, at least limit the efficiency of it by limiting the amount that can come out of it. what was your third part of the questioned? >> [inaudible] -- president's proposal. but, i mean, if you recall the nra came out a week after the newtown tragedy and said the only solution to a tragedy like this is if you've got a bad guy with a gun you need a good guy with a gun. you and i have had some discussions since newtown about some of this -- you have them in your testimony and i think we should absolutely take --
>> we give you a good example. we look at the shooting in new york at the empire state building. here's a situation where we had a shooter that brought in a swat team, probably the most qualified team to take out a shooter like this that shot nine pedestrians. myself, and i carry a gun and i am a victim of violent crime as you probably know i have been mugged and shot a lot, if you can't stop the crime, you've got to do everything you can to mitigate the extent in the crime and i think the clips is a good way to do it. if you are in a theater though, and i've heard this in the videos that i've looked at come if a swat team comes in and you are in a dark theater and there is a didier shooting and you have a gun, would you stand up and point your gun like this place what team is coming in the
front door he would be the first one he would take out if he doesn't look at the other guy said having a gun even in school the worst thing i would hate to see is my second or third grade teacher carrying a gun. it's just not appropriate. first you've got to be able to kill somebody and you know what, i don't care of you trained military personnel all you have to do is hesitate and you are going to be dead. so i don't think guns in the workplace or schools is the answer at all. >> in some of your written testimony lines up with the president's proposal. >> virtually all of it. let me tell you, some of the few instances that i have, although i don't agree with it necessarily but i could possibly be persuade -- is the background checks that are required for individual transfer. i have never sold or given on gun away to anybody that i
didn't know. should i be required if i sell two or three guns to felt a background check? i don't think so but if you make it available to gaucherie gun store, that's fine but then you have to look at how you are going to enforce that. if i go to the backyard and sell a gun to my neighbor who's going to know? or if you buy one on the internet you can buy any type of gun than you want. a private individual or somebody without a background check i think you have to look at a couple things. what you do will it be enforceable, will let stop crime, are there other issues you probably need to get passed in the legislation that would be more important? not only that, if you look at the forum there is a place for gun shows you have to fill in if the gun was sold at a gun show. the people at gun shows, it looks like a flea market. if these people aren't legitimate gun dealers, they
sure look like it to me because it's not joe cummings going in and selling one gun. he has a table this big fall of clips and a memo that you can buy. maybe you would say all these people going to gun shows selling done apparatuses and commercially should be licensed qualified firearms dealer and i would get rid of a lot. the 40 person that you heard -- i don't know if that's right or wrong. the nra will tell you 10%, that's as good as 40%. i don't know what it is. i don't know how you keep track of it. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. perricone, i appreciate your testimony. thank you for that. do you believe it's necessary or even useful for a hunter like you to have civilian versions of military weapons such as this m four civilian model took from an
ad on the internet recently? >> is there anyplace for this for hunters? >> will you know, it's called a civilian models be 18. there is a growing population of sportsmen better using these rifles for legitimate sporting purposes. i would be disingenuous if i said the majority of them do not. that said, while most sportsmen are using some other type of weapon they are also recreational shooters and many of them myself included engage in a rifle. the president expressed and i wealth here today i personally oppose the reinstatement of the assault weapons ban, but vehicles in america, for example that are capable of 200 plus miles an hour -- >> i don't want to get into the wisdom of the assault weapons ban. i just want to ask if this has usefulness for some hunters
coming and you think it does. >> yes. >> mr. chipman, should single point sales of multiple magazines or multiple sales of magazines be reportable and a national database or tracking system? >> that would certainly be useful to law enforcement, but obviously that would be a duty to do that. that is not a part of the structure. in fact, in many years ago atf stopped regulating ammunition as of which i would say would be a more important first step if we are going into that arena. now, with so many large capacity magazines already in circulation do you see the place for a buyback program? >> to me i think that honors the fact people solved the law when they solved something so that is for the decision to be made that a certain magazines should be banned because they are potentially deadly.
>> ms. campbell, a lot has been said keeping the guns out of the hands of people who are not able to handle them safely. what is the success rate of psychologists, counselors, in identifying someone who is going to commit mass violence? do you have any way of identifying the false positives, the false negatives, can they find someone one-third of the time and half the time, 90% of the time; did you have anything to go on? >> not really. in terms of percentages that could really speak to that. i think the issue is anyone who works in the field of mental health and addiction treatment is passionate about treating that individual, helping that individual, and making sure that individual gets the services they truly need. i think it would be difficult to forecast whether someone is
going to go off their medications and become violent. i think it's very difficult. i think percentage wise i would struggle to find that number for you. >> i would suggest that in fact improved and more accessible mental health treatment might prevent a lot of gun deaths but probably more suicide than mass murder. >> thank you. >> ms. holmes norton. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i very much appreciate this second go round of hearings that we have had and i particularly appreciate the thoughtfulness of the testimony and i can only hope that the congress will be as forceful as we proceed on this mission. i try to put myself in the
position of the typical parent, the kind of parent i might have been when my youngsters were in elementary school and i'm looking at this hearing and hearing all these policies and it's very important especially for the members of congress. i want to know one thing as an active parent, what is it that i should ask at the next. and teachers meeting? i think parents are terribly confused. should they ask for armed guards and buildings in the elementary schools? should they ask that the elementary school be more difficult to get in? they want to know -- members of congress will have to come forward with perhaps a dozen different remedies. but for another, she knows
there's not much funding for schools this year and perhaps in the years to come. she knows that she would like somebody to have been there if it were her child to protect her child, but she doesn't know if that is practical. she doesn't know if she would be robbing peter to pay paul and if they are opposed to something else in the schools. so i would ask you for a moment for us to get an rather than ask a set of questions i think that given how thoughtful of your testimony has been today, given the fact that you come from different perspectives, i think you would be useful to the average person listening to this testimony not to put themselves
in our shoes, but to ask you to put yourselves in their shoes. what should we do at the elementary school that didn't go now that this horrific tragedy has occurred and we know it has and we feel we must do something. yes, mr. cummings, if you would like to begin. >> first, i wouldn't put armed people in schools. >> guards or teachers? >> certainly not teachers. i've built hundreds of millions of dollars worth of schools. they differ all across the united states but in many cases there is more than one entrance. every classroom has an outdoor entrance. where are you going to put your arm the guard, which end of the school would you like him? there are estimates it's like $18 billion to put an armed guard in every school. i don't think that is
productive. i will tell you what i think is productive, and it gets back to the mental health situation and the counselors situation. you need a safe haven for doctors and counselors because of a counselor goes and finds out that she can talk -- my sister in law has been a counselor for 40 years or so. you can tell if there is an inclination in a child just as you heard from some of the people here that he's got to do something possibly a little strange. one kid i heard about wrote bomb on his desk. that would enlighten me to say i hope he's not going to blow us up, but most counselors today, and many doctors are afraid to report, therefore it never gets to the national database because they are worried about being sued. in my state it's particularly one of those. you've got to take that away because you got the
professional. it doesn't do you any good to have them there if the reports are not going to be heard and documented and hopefully stop something like this from happening. >> doctor? >> superb question, representative. my advice to parents and putting myself in the possession of a parent as well, and i agree completely with mr. cummings, that's not what the young people want or the parents want. i think the operative question is as a parent at the school board meeting or a school pta meeting, what are we doing to connect it disengaged troubled young people; are we doing all that we can? and one of the things that we are all accustomed to, and massive shooting happens, the first reaction in the press is this is completely unforeseen and what a surprise.
and then all of a sudden the reporters and the journalists began to interview people who knew the shooter, and then it all comes out. he was troubled, she was a loner. i knew he was a problem. he didn't get the kind of help he needed. and so the people in the community know who is troubled and who we is disengaged and disconnected and who needs help. and so it is a school challenge. but i -- it's a community challenge. it's a community challenge. there are things -- there are football coach's right now and little league that are connecting people, sometimes the first time a young person here has an affirmation that they are worth something from a soccer coach or football coach or from a minister. so i think it is not just about blaming or penning the responsibility on the school's that's part of the solution for short, but each one of us needs to ask ourselves that question what are we doing in our
personal lives. mr. cummings, building schools and helping boys and girls clubs to helping young people. >> thank you. mr. barbour. scaap thank you, mr. chairman. a couple of questions. first of all, to give a background check particularly mr. perricone and mr. cummings pittard i and distant from your testimony that you favor expanding universal background checks. we've heard from other people, people was describing in the gun lobby that this doesn't -- this shouldn't happen because i can't understand why that that's their perspective. can you help us understand the perceived problems with allowing us or requiring us to have background checks? it seems to me you cannot enforce the current law without such a procedure in that we have prohibited class is who can go
and the gun show for example they can buy but ever they want to buy. help us if you can thinking behind saying we shouldn't expand background checks and what we might do to overcome that problem. >> sure. thank you for the question. let me start by saying i think we can agree there are people that shouldn't have guns. the reasonable firewall to assure they don't have the ability is the background check. what exactly the background check is free to be a matter of debate moving forward. i can tell you after the column by shooting they voted to close the loophole. since that time might purchase a gun from the gun show as well as a commercial dealer and i can tell you from the sportsmen's perspective i haven't spent a single day less in the field. i think that when you -- there's obviously some discrepancy over the statistics but for the sake of argument let's say 60% of the
guns or firearms failed in america are taking place from a commercial dealer. i would mean coming from a commercial dealer, background, or i'm sorry, a gun show, newspaper requires background checks and then we have 40%. as a sportsman representing dhaka model of a responsible gun owner in america understand the value of background checks. it also listed some of the exemptions that need to be incorporated and extended in the background check system but i think those are reasonable accommodations and exceptions in something that we could probably reasonably implied and accept from the sports and community perspective. so often the background check system is seen through the light of keeping firearms out of the
hands of individuals. but it was also mentioned there's a book of individual transaction that takes place among the sports than any other community and to go on line and ensure social security numbers -- i look at as something the sportsmen hold a very high. >> from 1994 through the end of 2008, there were 97 million applications for gun transfers or permits in the process. one played 8 million applications were denied, so obviously it does something because one paid 8 million were denied. but there are other things that should be done to expand it to
ensure that the database is complete for numerous reasons. there are many states that don't even follow the guidelines there are some states like vermont that have no guidelines and don't do anything and then you have places like virginia that will deal with certain guns but we are not going to do it for semi-automatic pistols. we will do it for the long guns only so where is the consistency here? if this were consistent and you are just doing what you're doing and the states would comply with that. you can imagine what the number might be and how many people might have been detected and not afford the opportunity to buy a deadly weapon. >> if i may take the question for mr. chipman. there's talk about legislation pending about banning assault weapons. can you help us understand from your perspective as a former
agent with an assault weapon is? it is my understanding that virtually any weapon that can accept and extend the intent of the weapon the case in tucson had a glock pistol with 33 rounds and two others with 15 rounds and it was an assault weapon in my view an automatic weapon just as fast as he could pull the trigger and in 19 seconds or so. so it may have been called a semi-automatic weapon that the trigger was enough and the automatic weapon in my mind. tell us what we should do and can do to define what means for an assault weapon? >> shops assault weapons or defined in three different classes. those designed as a rifle with certain characteristics that made the firearm more tactical
the unsporting. there were also puzzled pistols and shotguns within that category. at the time of the assault weapons ban we were seeing the pistols, -- tech-9 and cobra has disappeared prior to the ban. the law enforcement and the concern at atf at the time is that the ban had -- with the intent was is to solve this problem. what they did is the band future production, but allowed anything out there on the market to still be lawful, which the unintended consequences is those became highly valuable. i think the gun show activity increased because people wanted to sell them more easily. and so all i would suggest is if congress does go forward, and as i suggested an nsa type of
regulation would be better and would deal with all of the guns, make sure they are highly regulated but not necessarily ban them, just make sure they are in full for hams, and as a crime fighter that was always my concern, keeping guns from bad people. >> thank you to read dr. ross, i know you have to leave. thank you. you may be excused. thanks very much. mr. dingell. >> thank you, mr. chairman. my question is well call for yes or no answers. have complete national firearms background check vital to making the nation safe? had preventing future tragedies. all sides of the discussions will agree that those who are permitted by law from ordering a firearm should be prevented from acquiring one. yet much work needs to be done to make sure that it is intended. a recent studies which i
commissioned found that as of may 20 to 32 states have interpreted a single criminal record. another problem is the incentives to get the state to act have not yet been implemented by the united states department of justice. if the state of floats a good portion of the records they're supposed to get a carrot. a weaver of 10 percent. a requirement for the national history of the improvement programs. if the state fails to approach the records and penalties and 50% cut and burned. now please answer the question is yes or no. do you believe that the doj is currently doing enough to help states to upload their records? yes or no? >> [inaudible] >> thank you. as a state level official do you believe -- >> he wants to know if it is federal doj --
>> [inaudible] >> i wish she would get closer to that microphone. >> is the fed doing it, yes or no? >> yes. >> you do believe they are? >> yes in terms of interoperable becoming yes. >> as a state level official, do you believe that the current incentives are enough to compel them to upload more records? yes or no? >> nope. >> is the report also indicated the state's uploaded their records with state privacy and public health laws, is that one of your concerns? >> not in california, no pity this because california restricted in the state laws to address privacy concerns so more records could be uploaded? yes or no?
>> no. >> it's emerged as the need to crack down on the so-called straw purchasers. i believe this is also finding common ground. if you believe that the straw purchasers will help address the problem of gun trafficking or is further action needed? >> yes. >> thank you mr. sherman. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. i as the representative from newtown looking into this i appreciate your thoughts on this and i appreciate you mentioning first responders, some of whom were here this weekend. related to that, can you talk about of the current weapons out there pose a risk of first responders as well as crime-fighter's cox >> clearly. a new york we saw in webster this horrific situation where a strong purchase of a gun lead to
a firefighter is being shot on their way to fight a fire. we've gotten to this point where firefighters have to worry for their safety. we are all in a lot of trouble, so clearly. >> for mr. perricone and mr. cummings, you mentioned that you were a responsible gun owner concerned. he would like the ability to conduct background checks on person-to-person sales. can you imagine how that might work or in vision, and what sort of what they're be penalties, would that be voluntary; how do you think in the community we should go about thinking of that if that is an option? >> well, the honest answer i think it is ultimately going to be of to you guys on how this works. the way that i envision it and think that there is a concern of course that it is going to be difficult to enforce, and i think the way that you provide the greatest incentive for
people to abide by is ensuring that it is easily accessible. i think an online process by which a couple of individuals could go on long and punching in social security numbers or something to that extent that would be incorporated into the the state and federal database and provide a relatively quick or if not immediate response to whether or not the individual transaction would be lawful or unlawful as the appropriate way to go about it. i also want to specify again that while expanding the background checks, the term of universal probably doesn't account for the exemptions that we have offered, and i think they are very important extensions to look at in moving forward. >> i think from the sporting world if a requirement was such that mr. perricone mentioned you just pick up the phone or e-mail
the social security numbers, and that goes into the database, i would not present a problem. i'm not sure how you would enforce it, and to go before a judge i think there would be a convoluted mess to try to prosecute somebody on, but i feel that if you require private owners to transfer a gun to a family member and then ask them to felt the full form i don't think she would enforce it and you could probably create more problems. >> on my time i might just throw this in my note that in california we don't have the staff to do it in a timely manner the way that it exists so there is a huge staffing problem and the ten day waiting period that is often characterized as a cooling off period, in many cases it takes ten days to do those background checks.
but in california if you do a private sale on some guns is, you have to do a background check. if you and i are both california residence and you want to buy a gun from me, it can be a pain but he walked down to the gun store and they hold the gun for ten days. they felt the paper work and we give $24 in ten days if it is and still win and you are not a criminal you can come back and pick it up. so there is some inconvenience, but it works pretty well and i will yield back. >> thank you very much mr. chairman. i would like to follow the same point for mr. leforestier. in california how does that actually work if someone becomes on qualified? so what happens if somebody was originally approved and they
either become a felon, they become convicted of domestic violence, stalking, do you have the resources and how do you go back through your database to check someone that has been approved? >> that is the nature of the program. so, we do have an electronic database that will cross reference the firearms registry with the database of prohibited people. so mental health patients, felons, etc. not sure yet and then we actually do a -- for we ought to the records every morning and have staff that go over to make sure that there are correlations between the records and the discussion since and the like to submit a high degree of confidence in the accuracy of the database. as a point of i guess perhaps this agreement on the whether it is practical to have more effective to have private sales conducted outside of the dealer and background check process.
in california, the transfers are exempt from the background check process. that is already handled. it is also the case that temporary loans are within i think it is 30 days during the hunting season and permitted without a background check. but one of the obligations of the firearms dealer is as a condition of the licensor is to conduct the background check. so, you have the two that the purchaser and the seller going into their dealer and the presented a driver's license, so there is an affirmation of the person's identity, and i don't know how you parallel that security in an online system where there wasn't someone with a license on the lawn and watching the transaction. >> thank you very much. >> just to follow, we are planning on having a hearing or at least a meeting with the task
force with the technical community because there are some ideas out there on how this could be made more readily available to folks and there are people that make millions figuring this stuff out. so we are going to ask them to come in and share some of those ideas. and it runs the spectrum from four different acts the would be made available to the creature deck so if you were preach that you could come in and slight your card coming and if you are still qualified you could buy a firearm and walkout. >> we would be interested in hearing about that. >> it only works if the fact is adequate and all persons are cooperative and putting the states and the local units of government including the mental health folks coming in and putting anybody else that has an impact in the department of records and the information that is needed. >> spoken as the true founder of the program, somebody that wants
to see it for correctly. you're absolutely correct. the point has been made by the number of people today that there's a huge gap in moving those records to where they need to be. and it's not just state-by-state come its jurisdiction my jurisdiction. >> if you will observe, mr. chairman, 30 states have not been put into it. i don't know if california has done that or not, i don't even know if michigan has but most of the local jurisdictions have not come and the questions relative to mental health, there's been nothing by almost anybody as a reference to the character whether they're almost impossible to use. the end result is that the instant check the results of the applications to provide several firearms. at the end result of all of that is that the department of justice or the atf says we don't have anything on that so go ahead and sell it to the guy
that is whether someone is going to get shot. >> that's why we are going to fix it. >> thank you mr. chairman and for participating in the hearing. it's helpful because this is such a complex issue and no two or three things we do are going to fix it. the program makes a lot of sense. i just kind of -- i've never been able to figure got to get the backlog adult with would take about $60 million. california represents 10% of the population of the country, so if the country really wanted it to invest making sure that people who shouldn't have guns, that are prohibited from having guns have the guns taken away from them would cost about $600 million. and i think that we as a congress should evaluate whether or not we are willing to take those guns away from people. this is a picture of the cash of
what was taken in a little community in my district last week. it was an ex-fellon who is lined the street 20-year-old. they got a tip off and the local police got it. he probably got these guns from nevada because california system doesn't work as long as it's not a national system as long as someone who wants to get a gun can go somewhere else it has a whole so i think we have to be clear about that. to you, mr. chipman, thank you for the testimony. it was very powerful. as an atf special agent for how many years? >> 24. >> 24 years, with a little experience what is the track record when it comes to prosecuting federal firearms licensees who are caught in
violating the anti-gun trafficking law? >> they are very difficult to enforce. it is a standard of willfulness as i and a stand the lawyers tell me that it's more difficult than the standard of knowing. i didn't go to law school but it seems to be very problematic when you bring something to court and that's why you have to do undercover investigations, they're time-consuming and they are quite difficult. it's also true that the inventory that i talked about that the dealers are not required to do a lot of time should the problem of employee theft. in my experience at least 50% of the dealers for having criminal problems had something to do with employee theft so there's a lot we can do with the dealers that i think can raise their professionalism. >> by requiring these inventory checks or allowing them to come in and do the checks would be
helpful is that what you're suggesting? >> extremely helpful. imagine a pharmacy trade estimate argue limited to once a year doing that? chemical can do in inspection at atf once a year. we can't require an inventory to be done by the dealer. that is forbidden to read >> that is as a result of the amendment? >> that is my understanding. >> after there is a criminal background check on that some of the deceased rall purchaser that came in, that has to be destroyed within 24 hours; is that correct? >> yes and that is a cruel thing thing to do. they will going to the stores and buy more than one at that time to read it seems the government, atf would want to know if over a month period someone bought 30 identical firearms but we can't know that because all those records are destroyed devotee day. >> and that didn't used to be the case?
>> nope. >> how long did you have before then? if we have a ten day period would that be effective or do you need a longer period of time? >> at one point we had 90 days to read obviously there could be the question why effort to destroy the record and control the conditions by which law enforcement can search those records. >> why is it that we have not required that all states provide their criminal records into the next? >> i don't know why we haven't done it. mix all the sense in the world. >> a factor to that is when we ran this legislation through it was weak as it traveled and nobody has chosen to appropriate the necessary money or take the necessary steps to ensure that would be done. the states have been uncooperative.
the courts do not have systems to report. they won't do it because they don't have the money or the personnel. cummings california do you know how much it costs to comply with putting that information into the system, mr. leforestier? >> i don't know the answer to the question that i can find out for you. i think the issue to my understanding is in the criminal history information being forwarded to the federal government, it is the other -- its the firearms registration and mental health records and things of that nature, the protectors. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> did you wish to inquire? >> thank you mr. chairman and for convening the hearing and panelists for the tremendously helpful information. i hope under some urgency is the congress we are responding to
this issue since sandy hook and there are even hundred 50 men, women and children who have been murdered as a result of gun violence justin at period of time so weo something about obviously. thank you for the information the you've given us on a variety of approaches in terms of universal background checks and improving the atf resources and practices as well as the ban on some assault military-style weapons. i would like to ask you specifically as a former atf agent in the effort to ensure criminals and those that are seriously ill and disqualified from possessing a firearm don't have access, obviously the universal background check is one way to be sure that doesn't happen. another way is to ensure the loopholes that exist that allow the market, guns to flow into the markets are closed and one
of them as a practice gun dealers, federally licensed gun dealer they have their license revoked because they have engaged in some misconduct haven't filed the papers but their entire inventory is deemed to be the personal collection and they are then free to sell it from the constraints of a background check and there's been some examples of where that has happened. so i'm wondering did you experience or see any of that practice? what was the protocol that was in place a licensed gun dealer had his or her license revoked? is their anything to ensure that the guns sometimes hundreds of them don't suddenly get transferred to people? >> the protocol was to go to the lawyers and invent frustration that we worked the case all this time we had the guns and the next day they were going to be put on the street so we would do anything with the law to prevent it and oftentimes it didn't
support eight -- nothing could be more frustrating than working a case on a dealer who is in that rare occasion an absolute criminal and allowing the that loophole as you described to put the guns on the street he were trying to present all along. >> you are rewording the person for the misconduct by removing all of the constraints and the sales of the firearms? >> there are other things they're just as frustrating how about revoking the license of a dealer only to have that person transfer it to their wife and open up business the next day or a brother? this happens day in and day out with a small minority of dealers that give them problems. >> do you have a recommendation with respect to the federal gun trafficking problem? it seems as if the existing
statutes either don't sufficiently captured the gun trafficking as a federal offense or have created a fiduciary challenges so that it's not a useful vehicle for cracking down on people who are engaged in the selling of guns illegally? >> the congress has done that with their effort to the two other violations until it is morally reprehensible to buy a gun for someone you know cannot legally possess it. if we cannot make that like dealing the child pornography or other things that affect our children, so what i propose is that we at least bring the gun law up to the standard of the drug law and i think that alone -- the crimes that result in the time. >> thank you mr. chair. i yield back. >> mr. chipman, when you came to the caucus and gave your guns 100, class to the membership, you had an anthology about
background checks and tsa at the airport. would you mind sharing that with anybody? >> it's an effective way to communicate to the public what is going on. for a law enforcement guy like the whole nation, nihilism was a dramatic effect and the congress took dramatic action. airport security was the front line. imagine the frustration of the tsa employees if they were told that 60% of those getting on a plane would get full security screening. and then 40% would be allowed to walk right on the plane. then buildings were blowing up and we were like why did that happen? bring this another way. imagine if 30 states had full security and all of their airports and 20 states had nothing to do so that terrorists could go to those 20 states and from there they would attack of their states that were doing their best to protect us. so, that is the story that i shared with you.
>> thank you very much and what this is for your excellent participation. as everyone has recognized, this is going to be a tough go. it's a very heavy lift. it's complicated and complex. you push one place and it'll just somewhere else. but we have a group of people who've come together determined to make some changes that will improve the safety of the community. as i said, when i began the hearing today at the same time protecting our second amendment rights. it's something not only that we can do but we have to do. so i want to thank all of you for your interest and participation and thanks to all the members who stayed over, stayed late to make sure that they could participate in this because they all know how important this is. thank you. we will stand adjourned. >> the senate is not in session today having finished their
legislative business yesterday. members last night voted to make changes to the senate rules and procedures
to serve as his next chief of staff. serving their role from jack lew of nominated to be the treasury secretary. formal announcement from the president is scheduled to take place at 12:10 pm eastern at the white house. mr. mcdonough currently serves as deputy national security advisor and previously served as a foreign policy specialist in congress.
secretary of state hillary clinton was on capitol hill this week testifying before both house and senate committees on the september attack on the consulate in benghazi. this is her appearance before the house foreign relations committee chaired by california congressman ed rice. it's three hours.
[background sounds] >> this hearing on the committee on foreign affairs will come to order. welcome, madam secretary. madam secretary, on behalf of the entire committee, let me say how glad we are to see you healthy and how much we appreciate your desire to testify about benghazi before you leave office. let me also say that our appreciation extends to the work that you have performed on behalf of our country. this is our committees opening
hearing of this congress. it is my initial hearing as the chairman. examining the first murder of the u.s. ambassador in nearly 35 years the killing of other brave americans is not a work in place to start, but it is necessary. the state department must learn from its mistakes to better protect its employees. many of whom served in hostile environments. unfortunately, threats to americans abroad are growing particularly those threats are growing in north africa and the attacks last week in algeria again show the nature of the danger. i support having a wide diplomatic presence. we can't retreat. as you for recognizing your testimony. but it has to be done with the safety of our personnel foremost
in mind. this committee intends to work with your department in a bipartisan way. and to work to improve security. every organization has its shortcomings to review with welcome them being highlighted, but it's this committee's job to get answers to the tough questions. our goal is to identify where the state department management broke down, thus failing to protect our people than benghazi to it is clear the problem wasn't confined to a few individuals. the accountability review board convened by you, madam secretary, found a, quote, systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at sea levels within two bureaus in the state department. according to the board, these systemic failures lead to the, quote, grossly inadequate security in libya. the benghazi compound was facing
the storm of militancy, a flood of weapons, and facing a eda tear the rating security environment. attacks were escalating on the compound yet the compound was forced to rely on the unarmed libyan guards and a militia that included extremist elements. no wonder the board found a pervasive realization among those in benghazi the security was not a high priority for washington according to the report. the board found that responsibility stopped at the assistant secretary level below the department's most senior management. this seems to contrast with the recommendation of the 1999 accountability review board on the east africa bombings which said that, quote, the secretary of state should take a personal and active role in security issues. this committee is considered the
most senior officials either should have known about the worsening security situation in benghazi or did know something about that security situation. either way, the point is the security requests were denied. so i'm not sure the board saw the full picture. and if not, its report isn't a complete blueprint for fixing things. the state department must get this right. al qaeda and its affiliates were very likely to be targeting other diplomats for years to come. the committee stands ready to help. i learned this morning that you and the administration has proposed legislation to fix the review board which the committee looks forward to considering. today's discussion may turn to funding. but when reading of the
conclusions of the board, one must ask how more money would have made a difference if the bureaucracy had played by what the board called systemic failures. after all, as the security situation in libya worsened, the state department turned away the security assets from the department of defense. state department officials have testified that the funding was not an issue. more resources may have been needed in some areas of the tragedy of benghazi was written bad decisions. finally, the benghazi perpetrators must be apprehended or they must be killed. it's troubling that to nisha recently released a key suspect. four libyan cooperation has hampered the fbi's investigation success here is a matter of justice and it's also a matter of signaling to the militants that there is no place for them
to hide if the attack u.s. personnel. i will now turn to the distinguished ranking member for his opening remarks. >> thank you mr. chairman for holding this important hearing. i hope that we can use this for an opportunity to seriously examine the steps that we need to take to end their reach peak of the tragedy in benghazi rather than engaging in the gotcha politics and in gauging the to achieving this bipartisan goal. madam secretary, as the new ranking member on the foreign affairs committee, what me say on behalf of the democratic members on this committee, we would like to welcome you back to the committee in regard that you are feeling better. this would likely be a final appearance before our committee and i want to take this opportunity to let you know how much we appreciate your outstanding and tireless efforts to represent our country in the international community. i have no doubt you will continue to serve the nation in some capacity as you have for so
many years and i look forward to working with you the future and by as a new yorker i feel especially proud of the wonderful and outstanding job that you have done as secretary of state. i think that when we look at the outstanding secretary of state in our history of our country, you will be right up there at the very top. the way that you've worked, the tireless efforts that you have, crisscrossing the globe so many times you have been indispensable to all of us as americans and i just want to thank you personally on behalf of all of the democrats and all americans, democrats and republicans we really want thank you. mr. chairman, the committee has no greater responsibility in making sure the men and women of the state department and other public servants that work abroad are provided the security they deserve. we must do what we can to minimize the threats faced by our diplomats and aid workers but we must also recognize some
risk is inherent in the practice of effective diplomacy. we cannot in that debate to advance america's interest around the world if we isolate ourselves behind rolls or limit the deployment of our diplomats to low risk environments. let's not learn the wrong lessons from today's hearing. the accountability review board convened by secretary clinton found a number of failures that resulted from a lack of leadership in the state department bureau is as well as woefully inadequate security in benghazi. clearly mistakes made. but let's be absolutely clear. barack obama wasn't responsible for the benghazi attack any more than george w. bush was responsible for the 9/11 attacks or ronald reagan was responsible for the attacks on dhaka marine barracks in beirut which killed over 200 marines and frankly whether was called a terrorist attack or not in the immediate aftermath as far as i am concerned is irrelevant. we just have to make sure if it
never happens again savitt in the future of our people are protected. that is what i want to get out of all of this. so we commend you for accepting of the recommendations and welcome your commitment to begin implementing them by the time you leave the department. even before they submit its conclusions the department moved to address certain shortcomings in its proposal. the vast majority for this proposal would come through funds previously appropriated for the lower priority programs. and i hope congress will move without delay to give the department to transfer authority that it needs to start applying these changes. it is important to remember the security isn't a one off endeavor. indy 500 it's a long-term responsibility and investment and in that context the members of the arb led by ambassador pickering led to the struggle to get the resources it needs. the ongoing problem has led to a
culture at the department in which senior managers appear to be more interested in conserving resources than achieving specific goals. the arb report says, quote, the solution requires a more serious and sustained commitment to congress to support state department needs. regrettably it is clear that congress is failing to meet the commitment approved by the house appropriations committee the administration's request for embassy security construction and maintenance was cut by $112 million in worldwide security protection reduced by $149 million. the senate, by comparison, didn't cut either accounts. so let me again reiterate what i set up the congress's responsibility. over the past two years alone their request for a diplomatic security funding has been slashed by more than half a billion dollars in congress to meet this makes it impossible for the state department to
build the met newcomer secure diplomatic securities on improving those that already exist. the current appropriations bill for fiscal year 2013 continues this negative trend. the measure reported out of the house appropriations committee the funding for the world wide security protection and embassy security construction and maintenance by more than $260 million. in the senate appropriations committee for the funded both requests. so, what i am saying here is that we have much work to do to ourselves, for ourselves. if we truly want to maintain the global reach, then we need to make the necessary investments in safeguarding our personnel that serve in the dangerous environments. mr. chairman, you indicated your intention to work on a state department authorization bill and i would like to work with you in a bipartisan manner to craft legislation that improves the department's ability to manage its resources and provide the funding necessary to secure our people and facilities globally. so, i think you and i look
forward to the secretary's testimony. >> thank you triet to help us understand the state department's response to the benghazi attack, we are joined today by hillary rodham clinton, the 67 the secretary of state. she has had a longer career in public service and for the past four years, secretary clinton has served as president obama's secretary of state. she will soon move on to the next chapter in her distinguished career. madam secretary, without objection or false statement will be made a part of the record and all members will have five minutes to submit statements and questions for the record subject to the limitations of the committee for rules. madam secretary, please begin. >> thank you very much mr. chairman. thank you and the ranking member and members of the committee both of long standing tenured and browned new members and i appreciate your patience for me
to be able to come fulfill my commitment to you actually to the former chairwoman but i would be here to discuss the attack in benghazi. i appreciate this opportunity and i will submit my full testimony for the record. i want to make a few points. the attacks in benghazi but claimed the lives of the brave americans, chris stevens, john smith, ty roane and glen dorcy are part of a broader strategic challenge to the united states and our partners in north africa. i think it's important we understand the contact for this challenge as we work together to protect our people and honor our fallen colleagues. any examination of the matter must begin with the sobering fact. since 1988, they're have been 19 accountability review boards,
investigating attacks on american diplomats and their facilities. since 1977, 65 american diplomatic personnel have been killed by terrorists. in addition to those who have been killed, we know what happened in tehran and the hostages being taken in 1979 our embassy and marine barracks bombing in beirut in 1983 and the terrorism saudi arabia in 1996 and our embassies and north africa in 1998 and the consulate staff murdered in saudi of the beah in 2004, the coast attack in afghanistan in 2009 and to many others. but i also want to stress the list of attacks the were foiled, crises averted and lives saved is even longer. we should never forget that the security professionals didn't write more than 99% of the time against difficult odds because the terrorists only need to get
it right once. that's why, like all of my predecessors, i trust the diplomatic security professionals with my life. let's also remember that as the chairman and the ranking member pointed out, administrations of both parties in partnership with congress have made a concerted and good faith efforts to learn from the tragedies that have occurred to implement recommendations from the review board to seek the necessary resources to better protect our people in a constantly evolving a threat environment. in fact of the 19 accountability review boards that have been held since 1988, only two of them have been made public. i want to stress that because the two that have been made public coming out of the east africa bombings and this one
hour attempt, honest attempt by the state department, by the secretary, secretary all right and myself, to be as transparent and open as possible. we wanted to be sure that whenever these independent nonpartisan boards found would be made available to the congress and to the american people. because as i have said many times since september 11th, i take responsibility, and nobody is more committed to getting this right. i am determined to lead this department and the nation stronger and more secure. now taking responsibility mant moly moving quickly in the first on certain hours and days to respond to the immediate crisis, but also to make sure that we were protecting our people in haifa areas across the region and the world. it also meant launching an independent investigation to determine exactly what happened in benghazi and represent steps for improvement.
it also meant intensifying our efforts to combat terrorism and support emerging democracies and north america and beyond. let me share were briefly the lessons that we have had up until now. first, let's start on the night of september 11th itself and as difficult early days. i directed our response from the state department in close contact with officials from across the government and the libyan government. so, i did see firsthand what the ambassador pickering and the chairman called timely and unexceptional coordination triet no delays in decision making, no denials of support from washington or from our military, and i want to echo the craze for the valor and courage on the ground especially as the security professionals in benghazi and tripoli. the board said the response saved american lives in real time, and it did. the very next morning i told the american people, and i quote,
they vowed to bring them to justice. and i stood later that day with president obama as he spoke with an act of terror. you may recall that the same time period we were also seeing a violent attacks on our embassies in cairo for tunis and khartoum as protests and many other posts from india to indonesia where thousands of the diplomat served. the security posture around the world with scrutiny for high-fat posts and i asked the department of defense to join the interagency security assessment teams and to dispatch additional security guards. i named the first deputy assistant secretary of state for high fructose so that mentions in dangerous places get the attention they need and we reached out to congress to help
address the physical bomber devotees including the risk from fired and to hire additional diplomatic security personnel and marine security guards. second coming even as i took these steps, i quickly moved to appoint the review board because i wanted them to come forward with their report before i left. because i felt the responsibility and i wanted to be sure that i was putting in motion the response to whatever they found. what was wrong, how do we fix it? i have accepted every one of the recommendations. the deputy secretary for the management resources, the deputy would appear before this committee last month the leading a task force to ensure all 29 are implemented completely and correctly as well as pursuing additional steps above and beyond the board could i pledged in my letter to you last month implementation has now gone on the 29 recommendations.
we translated them into 64 specific action items. the role assigned to the specific bureaus and offices with clear time lines for the completion. 85% are on track to be completed by the end of march with a number completed already. but we are also taking a top to bottom look to rethink how we make decisions on where, when and whether our people should operate in high-tech areas and how we respond. we are initiating a hi threat host review cheered for the first time and in american history i suppose by the secretary of state. ongoing reviews by the deputy secretary to ensure that pivotal questions about security reach the highest lawful fashion and we will regular guys the protocol for sharing information of congress today in the immediate action that we took in the process.
the strategic challenge in north africa and the wider region benghazi didn't happen in a vacuum. the arab revolutions have scrambled the power dynamics and shattered security forces across the region. instead devotee has created an expanding safe haven for terrorists who look to extend their influence and plot further attacks of the kind we saw last week in algeria. let me offer our deepest condolences to families of americans and all the people of many nations killed and injured in the algerian hostage crisis. we remain in touch with the government of algeria ready to provide assistance if needed and also seeking to gain a fuller understanding of what take place so we can work together to prevent terrorist attacks in the future. concerns about terrorism and instability in north africa are not new of course. indeed they've been a top player ready for this entire national security team. but we need to work together to
accelerate a diplomatic campaign to increase our pressure on al qaeda and the monrad and other terrorists groups in the region. i conferred with the president of libya the foreign ministers and prime ministers of tunisia and morocco two weeks later after the attacks that i've met with very large groups of regional leaders and i was part of a special meeting i flew to algeria to discuss the fight against aqim and the duty secretary bill byrne on an interagency group to continue that conversation. then again she cochaired the global counterterrorism form that was held in abu dhabi and a meeting in tunis working and not only on building a new democracies that for reforming the security services. these are just a few of these constant diplomatic engagements
that we are focused on the syndicates of terror closing safe havens, cutting off the finances, countering the extremis ideologies, throwing the flow of new recruits to really continue to hunt the terror was responsible for the attacks on benghazi to bring them to justice and we are issues and the diplomatic tools to support the emerging democracies including libya in order to give them the strength to provide a path away from extremism to read finally, the united states must continue to lead. in the middle east, and north africa and a probable load we have come along way in the past four years and we cannot afford to retreat now. when america is absent, especially from the unstable environments, there are consequences. extremism takes root, the interests suffering and security at home is threatened. that's why chris stevens went to benghazi in the first place. i asked him to go.
during the beginning of the revolution against gadhafi we needed somebody to build bridges with the insurgents and to begin to demonstrate that america will stand against gadhafi. nobody knew the dangers of the opportunity better than chris. first, during the revolution, then during the transition. a week for the in government with the mill shut even the terrorist groups, the bomb exploded in the parking lot of his hotels to read he never said let's shut it down, quit and go somewhere else because he understood that was critical for america to be represented in that place at that pivotal time. so mr. chairman, we do have to work harder and better to balance the risks and the opportunities our men and women that served overseas understand
that we do accept a level of risk to represent and protect the country that we love. they represent the best traditions of a bold and generous nation treated they cannot work in bunkers and do their job but it is our responsibility to make sure they have the resources they need to do those jobs and to do everything they can to reduce the risks they face. ..
the number of americans applying to the foreign service actually increases. that tells us everything we know, need to know about the kind of patriots i'm talking about. they do ask what they can do for the country, and america is stronger for it. so today, after four years in this job, traveling nearly 1 million miles and 5112 countries, my faith in our country and our future is stronger than ever. every time that blue and white airplane carrying the words united states of america touches down in some far off capital, i feel again the honor it is to represent the world's indispensable nation. and i am confident that with your help we will continue to keep the united states safe, strong, and exceptional. and i would be very happy to answer your questions. >> thank you, madam secretary. i think our state department do
accept a level of risk him and they do so in order, as you said quite properly, to continue to lead. and we recognize i think that hindsight is 20/20, but with regard to the benghazi attacks, what is probably most disturbing as the question comes before the committee and the media looks as the situation, the dots were connected ahead of time. the state department saw this was coming. and the state department didn't ask -- didn't act in order to prevent what, what could have been handled probably by answering the request by our personnel. so if we look at the state department e-mail exchange, on top officials in the bureau, written right after the assassination attempt on the british ambassador in june 2012,
here's the exchange. quote, this is very concerning when you start putting the events together. the anti-american demonstrations, the attack on our compound, and now the uk motorcade attack. if the tide is turning and they're now looking for americans and westerners to attack, that is a game changer. we are not staffed or resource adequately to protect our people and that type of environment. we are a soft target, unquote. so here's the point. senior officials fully appreciated the great threats in benghazi. they knew that al qaeda was there. they knew that our security was insufficient, but instead of adding security, in this case they took it away. they withdrew mobile security detachment teams.
they sent packing a special team that the defense department provided, and provided at no cost. so if senior officials knew that our diplomats were not safe, were not adequately staffed, then why did they continue to withdraw security? i think that's the first question. in testimony this morning you said you never saw those requests. and i understand that. last month though, deputy secretary burns testified that memos regarding the deep touring in the security system did make their way to the seventh floor. so what senior official was he referring to when he talks about top management? who in the senior management was responsible for responding to those requests that were coming from the field? that would be my question.
>> there's a lot of important questions in that, mr. chairman, and let me begin by saying that it was aware of certain incidents at our facility and the attack on the british diplomats. i was briefed on steps taken to prepare the breach in the wall, steps taken to reduce our compound movement. our team led by security professionals but also including intelligence professionals and others did not recommend, based on those incidents abandoning benghazi. in part because over the last years we have become accustomed to operating in dangerous places in pakistan, and iraq and afghanistan and yemen and elsewhere. and we do, as by necessity, rely on security officials to implement the protocols and procedures necessary to keep our people safe. and as i said in my opening statement, i have a lot of
confidence in them because most of the time they get it right. but i was also engaged, and i think this is what deputy secretary burns was referring to, in issues related to the superior -- deteriorating thread and fiber, particularly in libya, there were other places across the region. we were also watching, to try to see what we could do to support the libyan government to improve the overall stability of their country, to deal with the many militias. we have many programs and actions that we were working on. i had a number of conversations with leading libyan officials. i went to libya in october 2011. in fact, shortly before the attack on benghazi we approved a libya for substantial funding from a joint state ud account for border security and wmd efforts. so i want to just clarify that
there were specific instances and assessments going on primarily by the security professionals related to individual folks, including benghazi. >> but what i saw was a communiqué which indicated that, in fact, those assets, like the security site team were, in fact, pulled. you had free of cost you from the department of defense a team in place, and on about august 15, some weeks before the attack, the question is, can we, can we extend that security team? and the answer, the answer is no, it would be embarrassing to our agency if that agency is providing the protection. that struck me as a little bit of the problems that we had before between the cia and the fbi, between two agencies that were more focused perhaps on rivalry than they were on providing the security.
and we are full circle, and now based on the reading, little reading of those memos, here you have the requests. so that's my question. okay, they didn't come to the conclusion that we should increase security. but what about the question of having the security actually withdrawn august 15 in terms of the security site team provided by the department of defense? >> again i'm glad you raised that. the arb look into this as a look into everything to get does not discuss the ssd or recommend that our personnel on the ground should have asked for continued deployment. and i think that's in part because the sst was based in tripoli. it is hardly ever less than 2% of entire time it was in libya did he even go to benghazi. its responsibilities, which were about the siting of insecurity of the embassy focus on tripoli, and it was not an open ended
arrangement as it has been understood. it was intended as an interim measure, and the experts who were there played vital roles. they were communication specials, airfields specials, trained medics. they helped to stand up our embassy in tripoli when we reopened it. and i think it's important that day, they were very, they were very helpful with the embassy, but at the end of the day they really were not focused on nor did they pay much attention to benghazi. and i think since their primary mission was at the embassy, the embassy did acquire a lot of assets, and that was a decision that they should not be extended for a third time. >> maddest editor, thank you. we're going to go to mr. engel of new york. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. madam secretary, you in the state department of rightly take responsibility for what happened, convened the arb and
your implement its recommendation. as i said in my opening statement, we need to be clear eyed in congress. over the past two years alone the administration's request, diplomatic security funding has been slashed and more than half a billion dollars in congress. and the current appropriations bill, the fiscal 2013, continues its negative trend by slashing funding for worldwide security protection, construction of maintenance by more than $260 million. so i'd like to ask you, madam secretary, do you think congress has provided adequate resources to diplomatic security in recent years? can you talk about security priorities? you not been able to complete due to an inadequate budget? and what advice would you give the committee as it considers funding to protect our diplomats? and i want to also add, what would happen even worse to the security of our diplomats and a diplomatic facilities if there is a government shutdown?
>> well, congressman engel, this is a bipartisan problem. sends 2007, the department has consistently requested greater funding for embassy construction and diplomatic security, but with the exception of 2010, the congress has consistently enacted less than requested most. in 2012 the department received $340 million less than requested, close to 10% less. over the last two years, cuts to the embassy construction security and maintenance budget was almost 10% of that as well. the arb, and i would defer to them, because they had an independent view of this, has recommended an increase in facility funding to 2.2 billion per year to restore the construction levels that were called for in the 1998 arv report. but it think it's also fair to make the point the arb makes.
consistent shortfalls have her card the government to try to prioritize, and the department has attempted to do that but i do think there became a culture of reaction. as the arb report says husband the resources in trying to figure out how to do as much with as little as possible. and so although our prioritization was certainly imperfect, the funds provided by congress were inadequate. so somehow we have to work on both ends of that equation. what can you do? first of all we came up with a request to the legislative and budget staff for transfer of authority language, namely taking money we already had in this budget and letting us move it quickly to do what the arb told us to do, more marine security guard, more diplomatic security guards, more construction and upgrades.
we were able to get that included in the senate version of this handy supplemental which passed on december 28, but we're unable to get a link which included in the house version. this is not new money. so first and foremost i would greatly appreciate this committee weighing in, working with your counterpart in the senate, give us this transfer authority. otherwise we will be behind the curve again. secondly, i think it's very important to change the laws about best value contracting versus lowest priced technically qualified. by statute state department local guard contracts in dangerous places, like libya and everywhere else, except iraq and afghanistan, must be awarded using a lowest price, technically acceptable selection process. we have requested a change in the legislation that would allow us to use some discretion to try
to deal with the varieties and vagaries of these local guard forces. we currently have as i said in afghanistan, iraq and pakistan, but it's going to expire so that something else that it would respectfully ask this committee to look into. and, finally, the point that the chairman made, and that you add code, congressman -- echoed, congressman, and authorization. working on an authorization, i was on the armed services committee in the senate. we did an awesome ration every year no matter what was going on in the world. it was a great organizing tool. it made sure that our defense needs are going to be met. i believe that in the world in which we are living our diplomacy and development needs are very important, but we don't have the same focus. and so working with the senate foreign relations committee on an authorization we can look at everything, and you can have subcommittees really delving
into all of these different issues, coming up with an authorization i think would be a great step forward. >> thank you. thank you, madam secretary,. >> ms. ros-lehtinen from new york. >> -- from florida. they retire. >> maddest secretary, -- >> there are a lot of new yorkers down the already i think. >> but you can only vote once. thank you for the positive working relationship that we have had during her tenure at the state department. i request that they get written responses for the questions that i'm going to ask. first, why were you not interviewed for the review board by the review board investigators? how can this review be considered a thorough from the person at the top, the secretary of state was not part of the
investigation. that's what was said in our open hearing when it was confirmed that you were never questioned for this report, and i think that's outrageous. also the state department was clearly allowing from -- department officials were being held accountable for what went wrong in benghazi, for ignoring the threat, and was received as fact. look at these headlines. "the new york times," for our out at state department after scathing reports on benghazi attack. not true. heads roll at the state department. not true. yet state did nothing to correct the record. here we are 130 days after the terrorist attack. why did you not take steps publicly to correct this false narrative, even up to and including today, even when you're deputies burns and i testified before us. they both said that steps were
being taken to discipline those state department officials when, in fact, no significant action has or hasn't occurred. there's been a shuffling of the deck chairs. you find it acceptable that state officials responsible for this lack of leadership and mismanagement for ignoring security requests during the benghazi attack remain employed within the state department? also, the accountability report cites several systemic failures at the department. that cannot be overlooked or ignored. given that state was aware of the dangerously declining security situation in benghazi as pointed out by chairman, the assassination attempt on the british ambassador, other attacks on western anxious, why did state not immediately revamped our security protocol prior to the set 10 or 11
attack? did state failed to act proactively because it ignored the threat? fail to act becaust was unable to recognize this growing pattern of violence? easily, states that failed to act. these failures highlighted by the arb report serve as a blueprint for terrorists on where our weaknesses lie, where we are vulnerable, but what actions have you taken to ensure that when another embassy, another consulate sounds the alarm on security threats, as it happened in benghazi, that those requests are not yet a didn't ignored. and as we examine the willingness and capacity of countries in the region, we must condition hves high threat posed based on the cooperation with the united states. i hope that we do that. now, regarding the state request for more money, i think it's worth pointing out that some
state department officials have stated that budget constraints are not to blame for the loss of lives in benghazi. however, the state department is notorious for wasteful spending, and continues to have misplaced funding priorities between the state department, treasury and usaid. the fiscal year 2012 request for global climate change and initiative is over $123 billion. now, what do we think, or what do you think is a higher priority and a better use of taxpayers money, national security or global climate change? this money could have been used for embassy construction, for hiring more diplomacy security agencies -- agents for providing our posts and personnel overseas with adequate equipment and training. and there's more that i can't get to, but certainly i would appreciate your written answers,
including the 64 specific action items that you will be taking on the task force recommendations. and we look forward to getting a detailed report here in congress on explaining their justification, their itemized funding layout, et cetera. the thank you, madam secretary, for the time. >> i guess he will answer all of your questions. let me comment on two of them, even though my time has run out. first, i was not asked to speak with the accountability review board during their investigati investigation. the specific issues they were looking at regarding the attack on brett vassey were handled by security professionals in the department, and that's where they are focused. obviously, if they had thought that i was relevant or had information that would help the investigation i would have gladly discuss that with them at their request. secondly, on the personnel, this is another area where they need your help. first, all four individuals have
been removed from their job. secondly, they have been placed on administrative leave. thirdly, ambassador pickering and admiral mullen specifically highlighted the reason why this has been so complicated. under federal statute and regulation, unsatisfactory leadership is not grounds for finding every to duty. and the arb did not find that these four individuals breached their duty. so i have submitted legislation to this committee and to the senate committee to fix this problem so future arbs will not face this situation. because i agree with you there ought to be more leeway given to the arb but under current law they were limited. >> madam secretary, we will be fixing -- working to fix that problem. mr. faleomavaega. >> thank you, mr. chairman, ranking member, for calling this important hearing. madam secretary, thank you for your most eloquent statement. your service or nation has been exemplary and outstanding.
any suggestion otherwise during today's hearing i would consider unfair, unwarranted. we meet today under difficult circumstances. i am sure that when you secretary of state stood at andrews air force base, the remains of ambassador christopher stephens, mr. sean smith, mr. tyrone woods, and mr. glen doherty, you must have had tremendous, or felt tremendous pain and suffering as we expressed in our proverb -- meaning the stones. madam secretary, please note that you are not alone. we wept with you and with the families of our fallen heroes. it is true that the benghazi attack is the first time since 1979 that american ambassador has been killed in the line of duty.
but it is also true the world has changed significantly since 1979 and consequently the department of state is increasingly operating in high threat locations throughout the world. this is why the accountability review board rightly observed that congress needs to make a serious and sustained commitment supporting state department needs. but the fy '20 13 fiscal year budget the house cut the administration's request by about $200 million. however, have we been provided $2.6 million funding i wonder if congress had done its part and fulfilled its responsibility in providing the state department with the necessary resources and funding to meet its needs, especially to provide security for our embassies and consulates throughout the world. i agree with arb recommendatio recommendations.
pulls money from different agencies in order to accelerate construction of new embassies and consulates. madam secretary, in honor of the lives of ambassador christopher stephens, mr. sean smith, mr. tyrone woods and mr. glen doherty, we need answers so that we can prevent this kind of tragedy from happening again. it is no good for any of us to use this tragedy for political gain. this was a terrorist attack, first and foremost. and we must not lose sight of this brutal site. instead we must hold together in our commitment to defeat those who would do us harm. so madam secretary, i commend you for being in accordance with the -- and antiterrorism act of 1986, and for accepting all 29th of the recommendations of the arb commission. for the past 20 years you have served our nation well. you have done all you coul can o
deliver freedom, safely to future generations. i salute you, and i look ahead to 2016 wishing you much success in extending to you my highest regards. i do have one question, or a couple if i have time. madam secretary, i note with interest one of your quotes, statement here that this is why ambassador chris stevens went to benghazi. i want to give the sense that the commitment in our foreign service officer throughout the world is second to none. even at the risk of their lives. and i wish my colleagues would understand is we have logistical problems, yes, we have funding. but the fact is that the people who did this not only because of his love for the leaders of the people of libya, but because he was so proud to represent this great nation of ours. and i would like to ask if you could elaborate just a little further what you meant by this, that ambassador stevens went to benghazi knowing the dangers,
knowing the dangers. could you please comment on the? >> congressman, i think it is absolutely the case that we have a foreign service that is composed of men and women who take on these responsibilities because they love our country. they go in with her eyes wide open. they learn languages. they immerse themselves in cultures. they go out to the foreign service institute and honed their skills. and chris stevens was one of our very best. he started off in the peace corps in morocco, was a fluent arabic speaker. had served with distinction throughout the arab world. and when asked if would be interested in going to benghazi where we have nothing when he first went, where he bought up in a hotel. we didn't have any support to speak of.
he was thrilled, and he understood immediately what it would mean. in the wake of this tragedy, this terrible terrorist attack, i think one of the most poignant events has been overlooked, and that is what happens after the libyan people from benghazi to tripoli learned that chris stevens, someone whom they had gotten to know, whom they had trusted and admired, had been murdered. they went out into the streets. they protested themselves, thousands, tens of thousands, far more than the dozens of highly armed, you know, invaders of our compound and our annex. and they made it clear that that was not the type of country they're trying to build. so in some ways chris's fate after his death was certainly validated.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, madam secretary. spent mr. smith of new jersey. >> welcome, madam secretary. we all deeply mourn the tragic loss of forest ordinary brave american nuclear distinction passer christopher stephens. but one of my top concerns is that we seem to be learning the same lessons again and again and again. madam secretary, after the august 1988 bombings of u.s. embassies in kenya and tanzania, admiral krause sat exactly where you said, 12 years ago, and told the subcommittee that i chaired at the time that quote in our investigation of the bombings the arb board were shocked a similar the lessons learned were to those drawn by the commission some 14 years before that. in other words, in 1985. in direct response that authored a bipartisan law, the admiral -- and in it we had a title to secure him as a construction encounters an act of 1999 to upgrade and -- security and
residency to include threat thrt assessment at this is, emergency action plans, programmer distances that our setbacks, for example, crisis management income diplomatic secured, training, rapid response procedures, storage or emergency equipment like fire suppressant capabilities, and increased antiterrorism in africa. before 1998 there were a thousand security specialists. today there are over 3100. i agree we need more, but how present a security personnel and assets are deployed are above all a leadership issue. and clearly we have and had the diplomatic security assets that could have been deployed to benghazi. when it comes to what you knew, madam secretary, what requests were made of you and of the department to beef up security in benghazi, there are parallels of the kenya and tanzania. prior to these africa, --
bushnell repeatedly asked secretary madeleine albright for more security upgrades, and the ambassadors request was rejected and the loss of life as we all know was arrested. chris stevens and his team made repeated requests for security assistance. so my question are these. one, you defied take a responsive -- responsibility in benghazi a few months ago. intern and only in turn of during and after the terrorist attack. what about before the attack on september 11, 2012 -- 11 -- 12. what pursley did you understand, when did you become aware of ambassador stevens and his team's request for security upgrades? what exactly did you do in response? you were very close. did he ask you personally at any time? when you said a moment ago that ambassador pickering's arb press
didn't think you relevant in any become your the most relevant person of all. you're the leader. you're on top of it all. so i would join with my colleague, ms. ros-lehtinen, you should have been interviewed and very important questions asked. and when you -- were you personally in any way at fault? >> well first, congressman, i'm well aware of the work that you did after the 1998 bombings, and i think that work and the legislation that you championed has been very important in protecting our people around the world. we have been not only reviewing by continuing to implement the recommendations of all the former arbs come and the 18 previous arbs resulted in 154 recommendations, and we have been very clear that the ongoing majority have been implemented. a handful, such recommendations,
were by their very nature required continuous innovation like what kind of security upgrades or radio communication was necessary. and there were a few that partially implemented because of some separate security concerns but that would've raised. but there was a need for ongoing funding. you remember that apple crowe said we wanted 2.2 billion dollars for building embassies. we had a number of embassies that were built in those early years, thanks to your legislation. then it teetered off. we put so much time and attention into iraq and afghanistan trying to make sure that we secured our people there. -- we set a lot of our security personnel there. so we had a slow down over a number of years in our ability to build new and and facilities come and out the latest arb is saying let's get back into this
again because there's no substitute for it. >> i'm almost out of time, madam secretary. when did you become aware and ask -- how did you respond to it and did you ever personally ask you to be involved? >> no. now. and -- know. any of the request, any of the cable 70 do with security did not come to my attention. >> mr. sherman from california. >> madam secretary, it's a shame that this is your last appearance before our committee. and i would have thought that your last appearance would be a chance for us to review your outstanding record as one of our great secretaries of state, whether it be leading efforts to enforce sanctions on iran, your work supporting women's rights around the world, engaging with civil society, and restoring and maintaining american influence at a very difficult era. and i would have thought that
your last drink would be your chance to give us some advice for what to do over the next, over the next four years and beyond. i take seriously your very strong advice, because i happen to agree with it, that it's about time we passed an operation bill through both houses of congress. but instead we're here, i guess our third hearing, to deal with the tragic events in benghazi because it is a chance for each political party to beat up on the other. we can talk about how republicans didn't provide you with resources. we can talk about the administration inside the state department. so i would hope that maybe we are did you to come back again. i realized that would be gratis. you wouldn't be on the government payroll at that time, and do the hearing that i would like to have, which is getting your input on the bigger issues
of foreign policy. ultimately the secured of our diplomats depends on the host country. this is all a discussion about well, there might've been five security people on the ground, and if only there'd been more funding, more deployment, this cable, that cable, maybe there would've been eight or nine security people on the ground, which might have led to more protection, might have led to more casualties. and here in washington a decision was made to provide well more than 16 security people to libya, and nobody that i know in washington was involved in the issue of how many of those were in benghazi, either going with the ambassador or there in advance. so the decision that all 16 were with him was a decision that you can't blame either political party, or anyone in washington for. ultimately, all we can do in our
embassies is enough to stave off a militant attack for a few hours. and after that if the host country doesn't come to the rescue, it doesn't matter whether we have three, six, 12, 16 or 36 armed guards and marines at the location. one aspect of protecting our diplomats in the future is bringing to justice the criminals who did this this time. we did a lot for the people of libya. we did a lot for those who are now ruling them. how would you appraise their efforts to cooperate with us in the investigation? and does this libyan government have the will and the capacity to the rest suspects involved --
to arrest suspects involved, and tend to go with each other, i think they would have to at minimum strain the capacity to try to arrest powerful armed elements in the eastern part of the country. and i don't know if they have, even if they have the will to use that capacity. so can you tell us after the attack, and now that we're trying to bring these culprits to justice, what do you think of the libyan government? >> well, i think, congressman, you to exactly -- you to exactly the right description. is a will or is the capacity when you say what you need is both. i have found the libyan officials to be willing but without capacity. and part of our challenge is to help them build greater capacity, because now it's about them. it's not only about what happened to us in benghazi, which every official in the
libyan government was deeply upset about, but they have their own problems now. they are having leaders attacked and assassinated on a regular basis. so we have to do more to help them build up their security capacity, and again, i would ask this committee to work with us. there are holes and a lot of history to be funny that would go to libya to assist them in building capacity. there are those i know in the congress assembled, libya is a wealthy nation, we don't need to give them any money. well, until they get up and going, it's in a great interest to give him the resources, like we have with other countries over the past 40 years. >> we can go to mr. rohrabacher from california. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, and thank you for being with us today, and putting yourself through this. >> thank you. >> let me just know that fixing responsibility with regard -- and identifying bad policy and
mistakes is the way that democracies fix problems. it is not all politics. it's how we do things here to make it better. so none of us have should at all a poll judge for trying to get to the nitty-gritty. and let me just note -- need to apologize. assistant secretary state land testified in congress that budget considerations played absolutely no role in her decision, it was her decision, not yours, her decision as to what the level of security would be there in benghazi. any suggestion that this is a budget issue is off-base or political. madam secretary, you told the senate this morning the children of the tax around 4 p.m. on that day, and you're involved widely in the coordinator response which included the department of defense at the white house but
did not speak to the president until later that evening. when did you talk to the president? >> two things. on a first lady made, carbon, the arb disagreed with that and did find that budget issues were asked to speak she testified under oath. >> that's why have an independent group like arb. that's why he was created to look at everything. so i think -- >> everybody has their own -- >> i think it's important -- [talking over each other] >> what about when you saw the president? when did you see the president? >> i talked to the present at the end of the day, but i've been in constant communication with the national security advisor. i had been on secure videoconferences with high level officials in the white house, in the defense department -- >> she testified she had witnessed the death in real-time, the attack on a monitor. at any time did you see the initial attack on a monitor to?
>> congressman, there was no monitor. there was no real-time. we got the surveillance videos some weeks later. that was the first time we saw any video of the attack. i think there was a misunderstanding. i think that perhaps, i'm just trying to clarify this. i may be going beyond my breach or but i think perhaps what she meant speed was there on your? >> she was talking to people who are trying to understand what was going on. >> i will say that admiral mullen, inbreeding us, suggested that he had seen some kind of video and that within a few moments it was very clear that this was a very coordinated terrorist attack, and not some demonstration that had gone awry. >> i think the surveillance video which some of you may seem in a classified setting does demonstrate what happened that night. >> azure getting with the crisis as it went on, did you think or
act on the basis that this was a film protest gone out of control? and when you breach the president did you tell him that? or did you tell them which admiral mullen's suggestion you by then, that this was a well planned and executed terrorist attack? which was the president told? >> first of all, i said the very next morning about it was an attack by heavily armed militants. the president said that morning it was an act of tears. at the same time, however, i was the with protests against our facilities that were clearly connected to the video. we were managing a number of such -- >> let's just say you noted that, and it can be, people do this so you can say you said it, but the emphasis we all remember what the emphasis was. over and over and over again it was repeated that we had enraged the islamic terrorists which by the way, what's that you?
when you say we enraged the islamic terrorists, that means we are at fault. they are not at fault. and then to look and see that the only people that i know were there right now with the filmmaker. isn't this a little disconcerting? >> well, first, congressman, i want to be clear that, of course, is a terrorist attack. the very next day i called it an attack by heavily armed militants on our compound. i think there is still, however, questions about exactly what caused this, who the attackers were. the arb, after months of research, said the picture is still very complicated and i think it's worth members looking at both the unclassified and classified arb with that in mind. >> thank you. >> mr. meeks of new york. >> [inaudible] >> let me first thank you --
first i want to thank you for an extraordinary daughter who came to the rockaways after sandy, just helping people, unannounced without fanfare, just getting down and helping people because they needed help after that terrible storm. and so just extraordinary public service. and then i want to also say, madam secretary, that you have been secretary of state, at an extraordinary time in the history of the united states of america and the world. and you have managed the challenge and an equally extraordinary manner, when you took the job america had a tarnished image abroad. you have revived our brand, traveled over a million miles to the furthest reaches of the world to the most challenging areas, and touched the lives of the most vulnerable. with your leadership, you have deepened our confidence that foreign aid can be responsibly
spent. our behalf of a grateful nation and a the fifth congressional district i want to thank you for a job well done. the attacks on our embassy in benghazi, a painful reminder to all of us that our diplomats across are in harm's way, and they are in some of the same unstable and hostile environments as our military. yet they don't have the same means of protecting themselves. and sadly we go back and we saw, and i know this committee i heard admiral mullen and ambassador pickering saying that money was and is in the budget is very important and makes a difference. yet, and sadly this house has failed to do its part in addressing the challenges they face, even after the tragedy at the benghazi attacks. you, however, has been -- accepted the recommendation of the arb and put measures in place immediately after this the camera 11 attack that
demonstrate your series of a changing the status quo. again it's a two-way street. congress has failed to act in a meaningful way and i believe the same on the leadership for its failure to give the state department the authority to transfer already appropriate funding. not new money, already money that it has towards bolstering security for our diplomats. give you that discretion. and same on the house for its failing, failing to adequately fund the administration's request for diplomatic security funds. now, i hope this congress will act swiftly to fix these critical findings matters. it's also my hope, as you said can we finally have a safe authorization bill that the president can sign into law. so let me ask you this question. at the time of the benghazi attacks, you indicated there was rising as going on in egypt and yemen and tunisia. it seems as though abroad, because no one could have imagined, and i'm sure you did
not when you initially took office, that you have the arab spring and the nation that was going on in these various countries that would happen. i want to ask a question, somewhat what mr. schumer was asking about. just to get your thoughts of what we might do as members of congress and how we might move forward with the nations of their spring so that maybe that is the way we can prevent these kinds of things are happening in the future. >> it's an excellent question, congressman, and it deserves a very thoughtful and, longer than the time i have but let me make three quick points. first, we cannot retreat from, give up on, turn our backs on a new arab spring revolutionary countries and new regimes. they are very new. most of them have leaders that have never run anything. they have come from backgrounds where they are suspicion of security because security was --
it to them in jail. had harassed them and their families. so we have to do some work and that work requires that we stay engaged. secondly, we have to do a much better job in helping rebuild security apparatus that can be used. quick example. we had a terrible assault on our embassy in tunis. and i called the president of tunisia. i said you have got to send reinforcements right now. our embassy is going to be overrun. he said it. it stopped. the government really has been responsive, understanding that, you know, these terrorists, these extremists don't just threaten us in western countries. they threatened the stability and the future of these governments. so we have to help them the way we hoped columbia years ago. and, finally, we need to do a better job conveying a counter narrative through the extremist jihadists narrative. you know, i've said this to this committee before, a lot of new
members on it, we have abdicated the broadcasting a renewed. yes, we have private stations, cnn, fox, nbc, all of that. they are out there. they convey information, but we are not doing what we did during the cold war. our broadcasbroadcas ting board of governors broadcasting board of governors is practically defined in terms of its capacity to be able to tell a message around the world. so we are advocating the ideological arena. and we need to get back into it. we have the best values. with the best america's. most people in the world just want to have a good decent life that is supported by cookies and job and raise their families. and we're letting the jihadists narrative fill a void. we need to get in there. we can do it successfully. >> thank you, mr. chairman. madam secretary, first let me thank you for your service, and i wish you the best in your future endeavors, mostly.
[laughter] >> i've got a couple of questions, but i do want to take a moment or two to set a couple of words about our late ambassador for stevens. many members and staff on our committee have had the opportunity to knowing to work with them even before he was named our u.s. ambassador to libya. and i think all would agree that he was one of our most able diplomats. i had the opportunity to meet with him in tripoli a little less than a month before he and three other outstanding americans were murdered in benghazi. his enthusiasm for the job was really something to behold. he was excited about the opportunity to help a nation newly freed from decades of brutal dictatorship. on my first night in the country i had the opportunity to join the ambassador for a dinner with a number of newly elected libyan
parliamentarians. they were optimistic about building a democracy, creating a vibrant economy and restoring fundamental human rights for the libyan people. and he was as enthusiastic as they were about the prospects. there's no question that he will be missed by all who knew him and who worked with them. one of the things that really troubles me, madam secretary, is the hoops that we on this committee have had to jump through to get to the facts surrounding the deaths of these public servants at the state department has laid him delayed coming forth with information. and when this committee was finally presented with relevant data, it amounted oftentimes what would be called a document dump. hundreds of pages of paper in why disarray, in no particular order, either in terms of relevance or in chronology. often in duplicate but in different binders, making it very difficult to locate documents that were of any help. our public servants in libya
were murdered on september 11. it's now january 23, more than four months later. it's unacceptable that the state department has made it so difficult for congress to exercise its oversight responsibility. now, a couple of questions. within a couple of months of the attack during the july-august period, ambassador stevens expressed concern about militia activity, particularly in benghazi and the need for additional security assistance. we have seen the cables were sick of the officers on the ground expressed considerable frustration at the difficulty in getting the personnel they believed were needed to protect american diplomats and property. and we now know that management of security personnel, especially the assignment of state department agents on very short-term duty, virtually guaranteeing very limited institutional knowledge was grossly inadequate. why was the department hierarchy
so obstinate how and why wasn't pashtun why would the department did not a personal plea from ambassador stevens given his expertise a living affairs? why did the department senior leadership not take into consideration the approaching september 11 anniversary, particularly in light of direct requests from our mission in libya? and finally, madam secretary, we've heard numerous times over the last several months that more funding is needed for diplomatic security, including in your testimony before the senate foreign relations committee, and to some extent this afternoon. i don't believe there's anybody in this room who doesn't want to protect our diplomats stationed abroad. often in very dangerous reasons -- region. congress have provided funding in the region of $10 billion. we will no doubt continue to provide significant funding in the future. given that our nation now faces a mountain of debt, sadly i might add, given short shrift i happened to say by the president in his inaugural address, of
course means that we cannot fund every single program that every federal agency request. so when we increased funding in 18 we have to consider cuts in others. at least that's the way it should work. the state department currently, audiaudie conducting in and to reduce, for example, to determine what offsets in current program funding might be considered? and finally i know that some have been peddling this story about congress fault for not providing sufficient funding for security. i would just note that your chief financial officer for diplomatic security stated, and i quote, i do not feel that we have ever been at a point where we have sacrificed security due to lack of funding. and i know that i've used my five minutes so i would appreciate your remarks -- >> the gentleman from aha has uses fibers but if you want to get to the members, we're going to have to hold to those five
minutes so i would just ask for a response in writing and we're kind of to mr. dutch from florida. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretarsecretar y clinton, first i would like to have the opportunity thank you for this router market will job you've done as secretary of state. you have represent the interest of this nation magnificently. and i, for one, hope that after a bit of rest you consider a return to public service, and should that return bring you to florida, i will look forward to welcoming you there. i would be remiss if i do not take this opportunity to once again thank you for your efforts on behalf of my constituent, robert levinson, who went missing in iran in 2007, not 2147 days ago. and i ask that the department continued to do everything he can to return robert to his family. i also want to thank you for the way you've handled the tragedy in benghazi. your personal commitment of
ensuring that those americans who serve american interests overseas often at great risk for themselves is a testament to the commitment that you've shown throughout your tenure at state to strengthen our diplomatic efforts around the world. i'd like to return to mr. chaffetz questioned the there isn't an awful lot of debate her on the hill about how we spend our dollars. we've all recognize the budgetary concerns. we also recognize we have an obligation to provide security to protect american personnel abroad. as we've ended our military operations in iraq in one unit in afghanistan, i'd like to ask what kind of strength will the presence of lack of military personnel in the region put on diplomatic security? let's start with that. >> that's a very important question that we are really going to have to grapple with together, i would hope.
we saw, for example, that when our troops withdrew from iraq, it dramatically altered what our civilians were capable of being able to do. because there had been over the course of war in iraq a very good working relationship between dod, state and usaid. we are going to face the same kind of questions in afghanistan as our troops drawdown from afghanistan. and a lot of these places we don't have military resources. the department of defense was a very good partner to us in responding to benghazi, but their assets were too far away to make much difference in any timely fashion. africom was stood up 10 years ago. i think that is going to look quite prescient because we're going to need to figure out how
to work more effectively together between our civilian and military assets in africa, and i think that would be a worthy subject if this committee press working with the armed services committee, because it's often difficult. in my four years we tried to work out more cooperative relationships, more funding streams between state and dod in order to be able to maximize the cooperation between us. >> when you talk about the need to prioritize because of shortfalls, more marine security guards, talk about construction and upgrades. what does that mean? what are the decisions that have to be made and how do they impact our diplomatic personnel? >> first and foremost we have to do the right job prioritizing based on the resources we do have. and i would be the first to say it's not all about money, but it's also not without budgetary consequences. and so we hav had to figure out what's the right balance. secondly, immediately after this
happened i spoke with secretary panetta, chairman didn't see, asked the defense department to work with us in putting together in her agency security assessment teams, to go out and look at a high threat posted because our military brings a different perspective, and that was a very important process which we are going to continue. we are also looking to see how we can better cooperate on the security aide that we give to other countries. it's got to be a combination of both military assets and expertise, but also development, rule of law, democracy building. it can't be one or the other. they have to be married together. >> and if you could in a few seconds we have left, madam secretary, could you just, could you speak more broadly about the important role, in this budget debate that will take place, why is it so important for us? >> let me give you an ele